By Gabrielle Smallwood
“Heartbreak on a Full Moon” is Chris Brown’s first release since 2015’s ‘Royalty.’ Released on Halloween morning, the superstar laced this record with nearly three hour’s worth of music. The double album is packed with a blasting forty-five songs, featuring artists from Usher, R. Kelly, Jhené Aiko, Gucci Mane, Future, Young Thug, Lil Yachty and more.
During the album’s announcement, there was backlash from the public about the length, but mouths were shut after HOAFM dropped. HOAFM gained accredited praise, even from people who were not fans of Brown, such as Wendy Williams and Joe Budden.
Within a week, The Recording Industry Association of America confirmed the album went gold, selling the equivalent of 500,000 units. The singer later retweeted a post declaring HOAFM is the “fastest album by a male singer to receive a gold certification by RIAA in 2017.”
During an interview for Complex, Brown said, “I thought ‘Heartbreak on a Full Moon’ was a depiction of what my soul wanted to say. It’s funny because we’re doing a double album. I’ve done so many records, but all the records, to me, are personal favorites and I feel like it gets what I want to say across. It gives a vibe. You get nostalgia or you get a sense of individuality.”
Brown has shown artistic growth. Sounds of R&B, hip hop, pop, funk and dancehall are heard throughout, showing his level of versatility. With the double album, the first half caters to hip hop and pop listeners, while the second half slows down with mainly R&B jams.
In “Frustrated,” the electropop beat uses repetition of, “come on, girl,” displaying the frustrations Brown has with a girl, “You’ve got me frustrated like a Taurus in the wild, I will not contain it, got no limits like a charge.” My personal favorite, “Tempo,” offers a certified top-20 banger with lyrics describing his love life’s tempo switch.
Kevin Lyttle’s “Turn Me On” sample used in dancehall-inspired “Questions” will have you dancing for the full two-minute-nine-second song. Brown slows it down with “No Exit,” which explains how he played games in the past, but he’s serious now and won’t leave his girlfriend, “So, let me make this clear, my love. I ain’t going nowhere, I ain’t going nowhere. There really ain’t no exit for me.”
If you have not listened to HOAFM yet, take the time to, even if its three hour’s worth.